Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hmm. I am not great at this so far and there is probably somewhere I can link up with other people on this as well. I suppose I should google it. :)

I have got to get back in the habit of making meals. I was really doing well for awhile after I left my full time position but then we went on vacation, were home for a bit and then left again for a weekend so I have kind of been a slacker in the cook dinner for the fam department. You want peanut butter and jelly again? Sure! Let's go to Dairy Queen for mini blizzards instead of dinner? Ok!  Yea...we are kind of a mess. But, it is a new week and a new menu plan.

Wait...I have to go look in the freezer and see what I can make... OK, 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 package of boneless skinless chicken and 1 package of 4 chuck tender steaks, 1 package no nitrate or nitrite Angus hot dogs.

Monday: Chicken Tettrazini
Tuesday: (I am teaching but can have something for the fam) Tacos
Wednesday: Steaks marinated in Patricia's marinade, mashed potatoes
Thursday: Hot dogs unless my hubby decides to take me out for my birthday (it is not until this weekend but he is traveling with the band.)
Friday: Maybe homemade pizza
Saturday: Leftovers

Well, we'll see if this happens this week. I think there is a good possibility that this is a doable menu for the week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 - {TWD} Crunchy Peach Tart/Oatmeal Muffins

It is Tuesday so once again it is time for Tuesdays with Dorie, the fabulous baking group where people from around the world bake a recipe in harmony. I missed last weeks recipe due to school starting and general craziness. But, I have made up for it this week by making both recipes to share today. :)

This weeks recipe is Crunchy Peach Tart. A recipe my mom used to make was called Peach Kuchen. The Crunchy Peach Tart kind of reminded me of that so I figured I would like it right away. The base was a sweet tart dough with almonds. I learned how to blanch peaches and was amazed by how easily the skin came off. I think I like the tart dough a bit better without nuts but I have to say making it from scratch and by hand (still food processor-less) is very satisfying!

Now on to Oatmeal Breakfast Bread/Muffins. I made these this morning after dropping the kids off at school. I forgot to pick up unsweetened applesauce so I used what I had in the fridge. Unfortunately for my batter the applesauce was mixed berry and (if you are queasy don't read the next few words) made the batter look like vomit. That didn't last long though, once the struesal was on the top they looked much more tasty. Unfortunately I am not a fan of pecans so I don't like them too much but my kiddos liked them as an after school snack. I suppose that is a good thing though since I don't need to be eating the entire batch anyway.

Today was a good baking day. I felt very domestic! :)
Thank you to  Natalie from Oven Love for choosing the Oatmeal Breakfast Bread and Rachel of Sweet Tarte for the Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart
Make sure to check out all of the other bakers pages to see how they did with these two recipes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tempting Fate

So, this morning I posted on Facebook :"Good Morning Monday. So far so good. We shall see how the day progresses..."
When I got home from dropping the kids off the dog had opened the box of granola bars, unwrapped 3 of them, ate the bars and left the mess for me to clean up.
I am baking today (muffins for last weeks TWD and Crunchy Peach Tart for this week) and things were going well....until I dumped half of the muffins into the bottom of my stuff.
Hopefully that is all Monday has in store for me....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome to our World

Or a more exciting title for this is what happened this week in bullet form:

1. First full day of 3rd grade and Kindergarten
2. Vision night at
3. Met briefly with 3rd graders teacher to let her know about ongoing anxiety if she thinks she might get in trouble for something. Teacher was very understanding and let the class know that kids that are messing around in the bathrooms after lunch will get a behavior card pulled not the kids that have jobs (sweeper) in the cafeteria.
4. Lunch at school with my Kindergartner
5. Moms in Touch (prayer group for our school)
6. Lunch at school with my 3rd grader
7. Teaching at local college
8. Both kids first soccer practices while I was working (coach asked if there were Vols fans in the house. Not one hand went up and the bright orange jerseys were handed out.)
9. Kids went to band practice with my rock star husband after soccer practice as I was still teaching
10. OS Update on the Droid bricked it so hubby was off to Verizon this morning
11. Woke up every day at 6 AM and made it to school on time
12. Bunco tonight
13. Laundry
14. Several phones call with my sister who is sending her kiddos to public school for the first time
15. Conference call for local college
16. Graded papers and prepared for class
17. Husband made fun of me for making a list and thinks I should add get up, brush teeth, etc....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010 - {TWD} Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream

It is Tuesday once again and with it comes treats! :) Thank you to Katrina over at Baking and Boys for choosing this weeks delicious recipe. I have to say I was not surprised that she chose ice cream and I am excited to see what she does to it. Katrina is one of my favorite food bloggers. She never lets her recipes alone. Each and every recipe is tweaked somehow to make it her own. As far as the boys part goes, she has cute sons that get to enjoy all of the treats she makes.

You can pop over to her site for the Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream Recipe or pick up Dorie Greenspans "Baking From My Home to Yours". You won't be sorry. :)

On to the process:
This was a very basic ice cream recipe which before churned was very thick, like mousse or pudding. My kiddos loved licking the spoons once everything was mixed. Several other bakers said this needed something as it was pretty rich by itself. I tossed in some "bits o' brickle" and some Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  Very tasty, very rich and still sitting in my freezer. We are ice cream people in our house but we tend to be vanilla based ice cream people. And I LOVE chocolate. As much as I like it I think I would make it again to take to a party where more people get to enjoy it.

Please forgive the photo. Chocolate ice cream is not terribly photogenic.....

Monday, August 09, 2010

August 9, 2010 - Menu Plan Monday

Another week, another menu. :)

Monday: Pork chops and steamed veggies
Tuesday: No Peek Chicken and veggies
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Mac and Cheese
Friday: Pizza

This does not seem like a very well defined list at the moment. For instance, even though I know we are having pork chops tonight I have no idea what I am going to do with them yet. Perhaps I will cut them up into pieces, throw them in a pan with some spices and cooking sherry and serve over rice or maybe I will bake them with some marinade over them....hmmm suggestions welcome. :)

No Peek Chicken is a recipe my mom used to make and it has carried over into married life. It is amazing what you can do with 2 cans "Cream Of" soup, some rice and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

Tacos are always on our rotation because my husband would eat Mexican food for every meal if he could. I am a spice wimp though so he has to add salsa or other spicy things to his since I make them weak for me and the kids.

Mac and Cheese is another family recipe. The kids love it, hubby likes it and I will even eat leftovers of it.

I guess Saturday will be leftover day. :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

August 5, 2010 - 101

Nope I am not talking about the 101 freeway in California. I am talking about the temp yesterday on the bank signs we passed while out and about. It is hot in Tennessee this week. We attempted to fry and egg on the sidewalk around 4:00 PM yesterday. There was a slight breeze so it didn't work. I think we will attempt it again sometime today....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

August 4, 2010 - Soccer Evaluations

My kids have never played soccer before. They have done swimming. Munchkin has played softball and has taken dance. Little Man has been in My Gym. This is his first organized sport and he was the only one that was going to play. We went to evaluations the other day and Munchkin had so much fun that she decided she wants to play as well. Of course, she lost a shoe while kicking the soccer into the goal..... not sure what that means for her success as a soccer player.

Both seem like they will like it though. We are just praying it cools down a little before practices and games start.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August 3, 2010 - {TWD} Gingered Carrot Cookies

I am not a big fan of carrot cake. There is usually some kind of nut in it that is a big ick factor in my book. However, I wanted to make these according to the recipe as I was handing some of them off to a pregnant friend. I have to admit these were pretty good. My husband made the comment that it takes a lot of confidence to make something I have never made before and give it to someone. Of course, I have been doing that since before we were married. We're having company? That is a perfect time to make chocolate mole sauce from scratch. (In relaying that story to one of my students he replied "You MADE mole from scratch? My Mexican mama buys it at the store and you little white girl made it from scratch?" Admittedly, I didn't know you could buy it in the store.)

Back to the Gingered Carrot Cookies. If you like carrot cake, you will love these cookies. If you don't like carrot cake you might still like these..even with the pecans in them. If you don't have Dorie's book Baking From My Home to Yours you can check out Natalia of  gatti fili e farina (mom, you should check out her blog, she is in Italy) for this surprisingly tasty recipe. Also, make sure to check out the leave your link post to see how the other bakers from around the world did with these this week.

Monday, August 02, 2010

August 2, 2010 - The Cocoa Tree

I have lived in the Middle Tennessee area for 9 years. I heard people talk about Germantown but had no clue where it was. It sounded trendy and I kept thinking I would find it someday. Have you ever used Yelp before? While sitting at the pediatricians office waiting on the kids well checks I thought I would see what kind of specialty stores were nearby on yelp. That is how I discovered the Cocoa Tree Artisan Chocolate Cafe.

If you have been to Asheville N. Carolina you may have seen the lovely Chocolate Fetish in their downtown area. I was thrilled to see that Nashville has its own lovely chocolate shop.

After lunch with my hubby I took the kids on a trip to find the store. It is tucked away on 5th Ave N. in Germantown. It is surrounded by historic homes and several other businesses. We were the only ones there when we went in but the lady that was there said they are usually busier in the mornings.

The kids each got a little truffle cone and were given a chocolate lollipop for free. The truffle were quite rich  (maybe a tiny bit small for $1.99) and very tasty. My kiddos and I shared a Frozen Cocoalato. That was a wonderful treat for a very hot day. Somehow we got our chocolate home without it melting and enjoyed it once we got there.

If you are craving chocolate I definitely recommend you stop in. :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Brickyard 400

Last weekend we took an extremely fast  trip to my annual family reunion. We left Friday morning and got to our destination in the evening. My hubby and kiddos went swimming while I made an ice cream sandwich dessert (layer ice cream sandwiches in a 9 x 13 pan, pour on a jar of hot fudge, sprinkle in a bunch of chopped up peanut butter cups (or any candy), another layer of ice cream sandwiches, hot fudge, peanut butter cups, cool whip, peanut butter cups and chill, you will be loved).

On "our way back" we decided to stop in at the Brickyard 400. Actually, general admission tickets were only $40 and kids got in free with a paying adult. Grandstand tickets were around $85 apiece. We simply packed our camping chairs and a collapsible cooler with us to take to the race. After a failed attempt to get on the road as early as we wanted (thanks weirdo guy at Tim Horton's) we made it to the race with about 20 minutes to get settled in before the race started. We got seats on the inside of turn 2. It may have not had the best view of the track but it was a great spot for us. 

Kevin Harvick in turn 2
We were in the family fun area so there were activities for the kids, there was no alcohol, and few people smoking. That alone made it an enjoyable experience for us. Little Man spent the entire race hanging out with daddy watching for the M&M's car. Munchkin wanted to spend most of the time in the family fun area. She painted a tiny race car, jumped in the bounce house, got her face painted and played in a pool of goo (cornstarch and water). She had been complaining that she was hot. I had to spray her off after she got out of the goo so then she was able to complain that she was cold. :)
Kyle Busch in the M&M's car backwards in turn 2.

In lap one the M&M's car ended up backwards just to the left of us. Somehow I got a photo of it. Little Man was a little worried about the car but cheered when Kyle Busch came racing around the corner to catch up with the pack. He ended up finishing 7th I think.

Once the race was over we had to head to our car. When we were buying our tickets we were trying to decide if we should try to park for free or if we should get tickets in a lot. We decided we wanted to have a parking pass for sure and we were so glad we did. It took us all of 10 minutes to get back to our car in the mass exodus from the track. It then took us about 10 minutes to get to the freeway and we were headed for home. So, out lesson was always buy parking ahead of time so you don't pay $20 to park on someones lawn a 30 minute walk from your seat.

It was pretty fun to go to the race and I think if we can go to another one we definitely will. :)